Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Human Rights Update 26-31/8/2012

Hi Friends,
We have four items for your attention this week.
1. The first item is a petition to the government of Vietnam to release a political prisoner, Ta Phong Tam
Ta Phong Tam

The petition site people get carried away with user friendliness and supply a form with my details inserted.  Please erase them, insert your own and sign.

2.The next case requires a letter.  Here is a link to my letter that you can use as template. 
Information on Israel Chinese Embassy;
Ambassador: Ms. GAO Yanping
Address: 222 Ben Yehuda Street, P.O.B.6067, Tel Aviv 61060, Israel
Tel:  +972-3-5442638  / 5440337
Fax: +972-3-5467251
Office Hours: 09:00-13:00, 13:30-15:30, Sunday-Thursday (except holidays)
Here are the details of the case:

A volunteer with a Beijing-based NGO, Song Guangqiang (also known as Song Ze), has been subjected to enforced disappearance as a result of his human rights activities. He has not been allowed to see his lawyer or family since 31 May and the authorities have refused to inform his family of his whereabouts.  He is at risk of torture and ill-treatment.
On 4 May around 2 pm, Song Guangqiang, a 27 year-old volunteer with a Beijing-based non-governmental organization (NGO), was taken away by the police near Beijing South Railway Station. He was interrogated at the Fengtai district and Beijing Public Security Bureau (PSB) on 4 and 5 May. On 5 May he was informed that he was being charged according to Article 293 of the Chinese Criminal Code with “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” and transferred to the Fengtai district detention centre, Beijing.
Song Guangqiang’s lawyer met with him on 15 and 31 May. He told his lawyer that he had been interrogated and charged in relation to his involvement in a project helping petitioners (people seeking redress for perceived injustices). This includes his visits to “black jails” in Beijing (unofficial detention facilities where many petitioners are arbitrarily detained because of their petitioning activity) and his distribution of food and donated clothes to petitioners who are destitute. On 12 June his lawyer was told that Song Guangqiang had been taken away by staff from the Beijing PSB several days earlier and placed under “residential surveillance”. Shortly after, his lawyer was told by the Beijing PSB that only the “unit in charge” can respond to inquiries about a particular case, and refused to provide any information. At present, neither Song Guangqiang’s family nor his lawyer have been informed of either his whereabouts or well-being.
Please write immediately in Chinese or your own language:
n        Calling on the authorities to immediately inform Song Guangqiang’s family of his whereabouts and well-being;
n        Calling on the authorities to release Song Guangqiang immediately and unconditionally as he has been detained solely for exercising his rights to freedom of expression;
n        Calling on the authorities to ensure that Song Guangqiang is not tortured or otherwise ill-treated in detention.


Director, Beijing Public Security Bureau
FU Zhenghua JuZhang
Beijingshi Gong’anju
9 Dongdajie, Qianmen
Dongchengqu, Beijingshi 100740
People’s Republic of China
Fax: +86 10 65242927
Telephone: +86 10 8522 5050 (Chinese only)
Salutation: Dear Director

Secretary, Political and Legal Committee of Beijing Municipality        
JI Lin Shuji        
3 Tai Ji Chang Da Jie
Beijingshi 100743
People’s Republic of China
Telephone: +86 10 8580 6131 (Chinese only)
Salutation: Dear Secretary

Minister of Public Security of the People's Republic of China
MENG Jianzhu Buzhang
14 Dongchang’anjie
Beijingshi 100741
People's Republic of China
Telephone: + 86 10 6512 2831 (Chinese only)
Salutation: Your Excellency

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation        
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
Additional Information
In China, civil society and in particular the weiquan (‘rights defence’) movement are growing. However, human rights defenders who attempt to report on human rights violations, challenge policies which the authorities find politically sensitive, or try to organize or rally others to their cause, face serious risk of abuse.
Some human rights defenders are held under illegal house arrest or in unofficial places of detention also known as “black jails”; others are subjected to  â€œresidential surveillance” (‘jianshi juzhu’ - known informally in Chinese as ‘ruanjin’ or ‘soft detention’). While the Chinese Criminal Procedure Law lists “residential surveillance” as one of a number of measures that may be used by the police against criminal suspects, in practice activists are rarely shown any official notice explaining the reasons for their detention, they are seldom detained at home as stipulated in the law, and periods often exceed the maximum limit of six months as prescribed by law.

Name: Song Guangqiang
Gender m/f: Male

3. AIUSA has an action going on in the hope of helping the Pussy Riot prisoners.  Please act.
This requires no more than filling a form and clicking.

4.Siemens claims to be a responsible corporation.  Maybe they are a good corporate citizen at home in Germany, but away from home, as in the USA, they are union busters.  Please tell them to shape up


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Further information on UA: 201/12 Index: ASA 17/029/2012 China        Date: 21 August 2012

Chung Ting-Pang, a Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioner who was detained in China on 18 June, was released on 10 August. The following day he was escorted to Nanchang airport where he boarded a plane to Taiwan. He has been reunited with his wife and children in Taiwan.
Chung Ting-Pang had travelled to China on 15 June to meet with his relatives who live in Nankang, Jiangxi province. He was detained at the airport in Ganzhou, also in Jiangxi province, on 18 June as he was about to return to Taiwan.
Chung Ting-Pang was held at a guesthouse under the guard of the Ganzhou National Security Bureau for 54 days. He was repeatedly interrogated but he says that he was not physically tortured or ill-treated. However, his interrogators threatened him by saying to him that if he did not cooperate, another investigation team would take over from them and that they could not protect him if that happened. During the first day of his detention, he refused to eat or drink. He began to eat after he was allowed to call home. The authorities told him what he should and should not say when speaking with his family. On 11 July he was taken to meet with a lawyer, and on 26 July he was asked to call home again, and tell his family that he was being treated well and that his family should not “make too much noise”.  
The national security authorities held him due to his attempt to intercept the signal of a Chinese TV station, deemed detrimental to China’s national and public security and for his other activities to distribute information about the Falun Gong spiritual movement in China. He was released without being charged but only after he signed a statement in which he confessed to having posed a threat to China’s national security and said that he regrets having done so.
Chung Ting-Pang admits that since 2003, he has attempted to use many methods to distribute materials about Falun Gong which is banned in China. However, he says that he never posed a threat to China’s national security and that he had to make up some details during the interrogations and only signed the statement because of the psychological pressure brought upon him by his being isolated, the threats to his security, and not knowing what would happen to him.
Many thanks to those who sent appeals. No further action is required from the UA network.

This is the first update UA 201/12. Further information:

Name: Chung Ting-Pang
Gender m/f: Male

Further information on UA: 201/12 Index: ASA 17/029/2012 Issue Date: 21 August 2012

Individuals Campaign Team

East Asia Team
International Secretariat, Amnesty International
Direct Line: 44 (0) 20-7413-5662
Fax: 44 (0) 20-7956-1157

----- Forwarded by Corinna-Barbara Francis/I.S./Amnesty International on 22/08/2012 16:17 -----

From:        Uateam/I.S./Amnesty International
To:        $UA-List/I.S./Amnesty International, $UA-Trans, ua-asia, Corinna-Barbara Francis/I.S./Amnesty International@Intsec
Date:        22/08/2012 14:53
Subject:        FU UA 208/12 ASA 17/031/2012 - Falun Gong Practitioners Tortured
Sent by:        Victoria Lane

Individuals Campaign Team

Email: /
Hotline: via switchboard (cannot be dialled from outside the building) (+44) 20 7413 5500 extension 5051

The next bit of news from China is not so happy:

falun gong practitioners  tortured
Falun Gong practitioners Wang Xiuqing and her daughter Qin Hailong have been tortured in Harbin’s Qianjin Re-education through Labour (RTL) camp, Shandong province, China. They have been detained without trial at the camp since January.
Information from former inmates has revealed that Wang Xiuqing and her daughter, Qin Hailong, have been tortured during their detention in the Qianjin RTL camp. On arrival at the camp the two were held incommunicado for more than one month. On 18 August, Qin Hailong’s older sister, Qin Rongqian, visited the RTL camp to see them. She first visited Wang Xiuqing , who told her that Qin Hailong had been tortured and ill-treated after Qin Rongqian’s last visit to the camp on 3 August, and that this had continued until 17 August. The torture included being beaten with electric batons, being punched and kicked all over her body, and thrown to ground so hard she was unable to breath. She named two officials actively involved in the torture as Huo Shuping and Wu Baoyun, the head and deputy head of the camp’s Number Two Brigade, one of two brigades into which all inmates are divided. Wang Xiuqing said that Qin Hailong was tortured because she refused to sign a document recognizing her “guilt”, asking for “help” in her “re-education”, and promising to reject her beliefs. Her mother had earlier signed the document because she “couldn’t stand it any more”, referring to her torture.
The RTL camp officials initially refused to allow Qin Rongqian to meet Qin Hailong after she had met with her mother despite her having the right to do so under RTL regulations. Qin Rongqian persisted in her demand to see her sister, saying she would not leave until she had done so, and eventually was allowed the visit. Qin Rongqian reports that Qin Hailong had scabs resulting from the electric shocks, was unable to stand up straight, walked with difficulty, held her waist with her arm, and had a look of pain on her face.
Qin Hailong and Wang Xiuqing were assigned to 18 months RTL last November after the family’s extensive efforts to seek legal redress for the death of Qin Hailong’s father and Wang Xiuqing’s husband, Qin Yueming, in Jiamusi Prison in February 2011, despite warnings from authorities to stop their legal efforts. Qin Yueming was imprisoned for his religious beliefs, and is believed to have been tortured to death. His family state they found his body covered with extensive bruises with blood coming from his nose. The prison authorities reported the cause of death as a heart attack. A petition movement in support of the family gathered over 15,000 signatures.
Please write immediately in Chinese or your own language:
n                    Call on the authorities to immediately release Qin Hailong and Wang Xiuqing as they have been detained solely on the basis of exercising their rights to freedom of expression
n                    Urge them to ensure that Qin Hailong and Wang Xiuqing are not tortured or ill-treated while in detention
n                    Urge them to immediately provide any medical assistance that Qin Hailong may require.


Minister of Justice
WU Aiying Buzhang
Sifabu, 10 Chaoyangmen Nandajie
Chaoyangqu, Beijingshi 100020
People's Republic of China
Fax: +86 10 65292345
Salutation: Dear Minister
Secretary of Political and Legal Committee of Heilongjiang Province
DU Jiahao Shuji
Qianshanlu 99-1
Nangangqu, Harbinshi 150090
People's Republic of China
Salutation: Dear Secretary

And copies to:
Director of Qianjin Re-education Through Labour Camp
WANG Yaluo Suozhang
Harbinshi 150078
People's Republic of China
Salutation: Dear Director

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation   
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the first update of UA 208/12. Further information:

faluN gong practitioners tortured

ADditional Information

Falun Gong is a spiritual movement which gained large numbers of supporters in China during the 1990s. After it staged a peaceful gathering in Tiananmen Square in July 1999, the government outlawed the group and launched a long-term campaign
of persecution. Individuals are imprisoned for their religious beliefs and for exercising their rights to freedom of expression by  distributing materials about the group. They are sentenced to long prison terms, held in psychiatric hospitals, re-education through labour (RTL) facilities (a form of administrative detention imposed without charge, trial or judicial review), and held in specialized detention centres whose mission is to “transform” Falun Gong practitioners via coercion into renouncing their spiritual beliefs, often through the use of torture and ill-treatment. Torture and other ill-treatment are routine in all forms of detention, despite China’s ratification of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in 1988. Amnesty International has documented numerous deaths in custody, believed to have been caused by torture and other ill-treatment, and torture and ill-treatment of practitioners leading to permanent disability.

Name: Wang Xiuqing (f), Qin Hailong (f), Qin Rongqian (f) Qin Yueming (m)
Gender m/f: Both

Further information on UA: 208/12 Index: ASA 17/031/2012 Issue Date: 22 August 2012

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied as we all know.  Thirty years is certainly far too long to wait for justice.
Survivors and relatives of victims of the 22 August 1982 El Calabozo massacre. From left to right; Felicita, Emma, Adriana, Jesús, Edelmira. El Salvador,  April 2012. © Amnesty International
30 years ago on 22 August 1982, by the banks of the river at El Calabozo in northern El Salvador, over 200 unarmed people were murdered in cold blood by Salvadoran soldiers.   Please join the call for justice.  


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Human Rights Action Update

Welcome to the Human Rights Action Blog

The jail sentence for the Pussy Riot punk singers calls for worldwide protestThe Guardian shows how scared a dictatorship can be.  Write to your local Russian Embassy.

We need your help to pile on more pressure on Turkish Airlines (THY) and the Turkish government to reinstate the 305 dismissed aviation workers and end the strike ban in the industry. 

Prisoner of conscience Johan Teterissa is at risk of further torture and other ill-treatment
in Batu Prison, Nusakambangan island, Indonesia following a transfer from Madiun
Prison, East Java. On arrival at Batu Prison, he was beaten with electric cables. He has
not received medical treatment.  Please act on this Amnesty case.

DHL is the world's largest courier company and one of the largest employers, with well over 470,000 workers.  It has one set of standards in Europa and another elsewhere.  Again, please act for abused workers in Turkey.


Anton Surapin did what millions do every day: he posted photos of something interesting online, such as the  photo above of teddy bears sent from Sweden by Swedish advertising firm Studio Total to highlight the clampdown on freedom of expression in Belarus. The company airdropped hundreds of teddy bears on parachutes with placards calling for free speech to be respected in Belarus. The campaign has most recently triggered diplomatic scuffle, with Belarus and Sweden expelling envoys over the controversy.

Surapin faces prison for posting these photos.  Please act on this disgusting case.  As Tomas Mazetti of Studio Total said about the case
“A dictator can be feared and he can be hated, but when the people start to laugh at him, his days are numbered. So, that was the objective.”
The issue has escalated to the EU level.

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied as we all know.  Thirty years is certainly far too long to wait for justice.
Survivors and relatives of victims of the 22 August 1982 El Calabozo massacre. From left to right; Felicita, Emma, Adriana, Jesús, Edelmira. El Salvador,  April 2012. © Amnesty International
30 years ago on 22 August 1982, by the banks of the river at El Calabozo in northern El Salvador, over 200 unarmed people were murdered in cold blood by Salvadoran soldiers.   Please join the call for justice.  

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Action items for the week

We are posting early this week both because of a heavy agenda and also to enable a link to the blog from the Titan blog that should be coming out tomorrow.  Please act on these cases.
We start with a terrible  case from China.
 Businessman Wu Wai Sing (also known as Vincent Wu), was detained by police on 22 June, in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong. He has said he has been tortured.  Here is the detailed UA from Amnesty.  
You can get it as html here.

This is a Roma eviction case that came from Guy Otterwell.  We see that Europe is still far from being free of human rights violations.

From AI USA we get this posting on the Pussy Riot trial that is going on in Russia. Three young women are being detained by Russian authorities for allegedly performing a protest song in a cathedral as part of a feminist punk group "Pussy Riot".

This trial is a travesty and a gross human rights violation.  Please act to defend freedom of expression. 

A new anti-abortion legislative initiative is under way in Spain. Please join the petition to allow Spanish women to retain their right to control their bodies.

Eric Lee has called the matter of airline worker abuse in Turkey to our attention.  Please act.

Please act on these cases and spread them to go viral on our your social networks.